Category Archives: A modest proposal

A rational society; the Hitch strikes again…

I love watching intelligent people destroy obnoxious blowhards with sound, precise, maddeningly effective logic, cutting like a hot knife through butter. The Hitch delivers in this one, calling Jerry Falwell exactly what he was: a dangerous demagogue.

How lucky to live in a society based, strongly, on Enlightenment principles. How precarious it is, as recent developments in the United States have demonstrated, to hold onto it.

A key issue to understanding Québec society and culture is the near-total control inflicted on it by the Catholic Church, roughly from the time immediately after the Patriotes Rebellion up until the late 1950s. And then, the , a period of profound social change, about as tumultuous and rapid as possible without degenerating into a prolonged riot, though the years were rough by local standards. Of considerable importance, the once dominant Church would lose its position in Québec society, and the state would go secular. This was the Quiet Revolution.

I cannot conceive of a city more Catholic and yet profoundly secular as Montréal. I have no idea how many people here identify with atheism, yet I’m acutely aware of a general consensus that religion has done considerably more harm than good throughout the last few thousand years. It seems that pretty much everyone I know, and meet, are probably thinking the same thing. Again, its part of the local cultural identity. We were oppressed for years, the abuse was rampant. Why do you think it was called ‘le grand noirceur’, the Great Darkness?

Seeing a man like Hitchens emasculate that Confederate worm and his faux-Irish Braheem mouthpiece gives me immense joy.

Anyone up to build a statue of him next to the cross on the mountain?

Modest Proposal No. 1

Alley in the Shaughnessy Village

I love this tree. Not this type of tree, this one in particular. Look how it stands. Look how it twists and bends. Look how it manages to provide such a dramatic canopy, so much clean leafy goodness at the end of this ‘figura serpentinata’ trunk. Look at how little ground area it actually takes up.

I’m not a fan of cemeteries – they’ve always seemed useless to me. Not to mention that we here in Montréal could have a Mount-Royal Park at double its current size if we made like 1854 and started exhuming the bodies. So I asked myself – where are the points of intersection here?

Blamo – dedicate trees to people. Replace tombstones with fancy plaques which will eventually become completely absorbed by the trunk of the tree (plus, by the time this happens, everyone you used to know will also be long gone, so no harm, no foul). Either way, we need to get rid of cemeteries, and I really can’t imagine a better way to commemorate someone’s living spirit than by gifting future generations a better environment.